Sarah Blasko: I Awake

4 Dec

sarah blasko

Sarah Blasko has a breathy voice, a penchant for minor keys and string instruments, and ability to combine catchy pop-songs with an unmistakeable sense of melancholy. Individually, these are the qualities that tend to make me partial to any artist. Combined, I go weak at the knees. I spent a lot of I Awake, Sarah Blasko’s fourth album, feeling a little clumsy.

On the face of it Blasko’s latest album might warrant comparisons with Ellie Goulding (vocally) or Florence + The Machine (instrumentally), though without the powerhouse quality that defines these two artists – there is a quieter, more haunted air to her compositions. But Blasko has been cultivating her distinctive sound for much longer than either of these musicians. By staying fairly under the radar she has been highly acclaimed in Australia but woefully under-appreciated on an international level. I Awake ranges from minimalistic to richly musical, from a single drumbeat or individual keys on a piano to full-blown swelling violins and orchestral ensembles. My one minor quibble is a large chunk of the album is devoted to slower-lullaby type songs that, while lovely, don’t quite have the dynamism that faster, drum-orientated tracks like the eponymous single I Awake. I admit that this is more a personal preference than a criticism as all of the songs make for a beautifully-crafted
album.

 

By Tessa Clews

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